Powerful Reading Intervention Strategies That Will Surely Work

Unfortunately, a lot of students from lower grades to those in tertiary education struggle with reading fluency. As such, reading intervention strategies are an often inimitable component in student instruction, designed to build confident, capable readers. There are countless programs and guide books available for purchase that offer valuable suggestions for instruction. However, they are costly, and they often boil down to a few key strategies.

Incorporate Multisensory Elements

The popular language program Rosetta Stone is successful by using a vigorous and purposefully repetitive application of visual flashcards, allowing its students to connect the vocabulary they are learning to the images they are seeing. Similarly, integrating visual, auditory, and kinesthetic modalities as one of many reading intervention strategies allows students to engage more effectively with the reading; research shows that readers better retain information and concepts through multisensory instruction. Allowing students to read aloud, act out scenes, and fully survey related pictures allows students to grapple with and connect to the material.

Draw Attention to Phonetics

One of the drawbacks of the English language is that it relies on several near incomprehensible and largely arbitrary grammar rules. In order for students to fully become fluent in reading, they have to understand the phonological background of the letters, words, and sentences they are consuming. Reading intervention strategies that acknowledge this necessity include utilizing alphabet matching during the discussion of the reading, and matching letters and letter sounds to phonics features.

Filling in the Blanks

Students should be able to directly engage with reading material, which is why allowing students to "fill in the blanks" is so helpful, as students then become a part of the creation process. If given, for example, the sentence "The tree is _____," students should be challenged to choose between "blue" and "green" or "tall" and "hairy." Reading comprehension can be exercised in the way as well, as during discussion, students can be asked to fill in their instructor's narration of the events of the reading.

Story Retelling, K-W-L, Paraphrasing, and Story Mapping

One of the most useful strategies in improving student comprehension of read materials is to devise strategies that necessitate that the student repeat the content which they had just consumed, by retelling the story themselves either as part of a large group exercise, one-on-one tutoring, or a paired reading activity in a variety of ways-including diagramming the story, acting it out, and paraphrasing it. The K-W-L strategy is especially helpful in allowing students to visually assess what they are learning through their reading and how that learning can be further applied.

When the perfect reading interventionist strategies have been selected, it's important for instructors to strictly adhere to the scope and sequence of the strategy, as students also strongly benefit from careful structure and timeliness in the development of their reading abilities. In this manner, reading instruction for struggling students should be continuously reinforced and downright systematic. Teachers should have a clear sense of direction for all lessons.